Reading In The Modern Day, The Debate
Most say eReaders are a dying breed, eventually going to be completely phased out by tablets. I disagree, I think eReaders are going to be here for a long while, they wont be as strong as they once were but they’ll stay around.
The cheapest tablet I’ve seen that’s actually worth the money is the Kindle Fire for 200$, and that arguing that the Fire is a full fledged tablet, which is in dispute, at least in my mind. Likewise, the cheapest eReader I’ve seen, again, that’s worth the money is the Kindle for 80$. That’s huge difference, granted you get a lot more features with a tablet, but that brings me right into my next point…
eReaders let you read books, that’s it. You might be able to listen to music or browse the web a bit, but when you get one you get it to read, that’s it. Tablets can do this and so much more. Now this is arguably a folly of tablets, here’s why: when I read I book, I want to be completely dedicated to that book, I don’t want distractions from my roommates’ awful music preference or my phone’s beckoning text tone. I prefer a completely silent and distraction-free zone so I can fall fully into the story I’m reading. Tablets don’t really have this feature, because in addition to your book-reading app you’ve got Facebook, Twitter, email, instant messaging, etc. So eReaders may only let you read books, but books only let you read books too.
My Kindle’s battery can literally last a month, at least. Tablets will last you a day if you’re lucky, or the brightness is turned down, and you don’t use it much. When you want to read a book you don’t want to have to worry about battery life, that’s just another distraction.
eReader screens are different than tablet screens, this is part of the reason the battery life can last so long. It’s also the reason you can take an eReader and read anywhere, even if you’re in direct sunlight. This direct sunlight on a tablet screen will make it very difficult to read. This continues with the fact that you can take an eReader anywhere and still be able to enjoy it. Also, as seen in the picture below, finger prints are much easier to see on a tablet vs an eReader, not that that is an issue when the screen brightness is up (using more battery) but it can come to light (is there a pun in there?) every once in a while. In tablet’s defense, the back lit screens are definitely nice when reading at night.
I think 90% of the time when I’m reading I’m laying in my bed. That’s one reason I love eReaders and tablets over books; I don’t have to roll over in bed whenever I move to the other page. But in the tablet vs eReader debate, it comes down to this: when you’re laying down with the book/eReader/Tablet sideways so you can read, it’s a lot easier when it’s smaller. In fact, in most cases its easier when it’s smaller. Pack it away more places, carry more things along with it, since it’s lighter. You don’t really get a lot of this with tablets. They’re bigger and heavier, and even with seven inch tablets they’re ticker and still heavier. My kindle weighs less than a normal book.
The nice thing about eReaders is that they’re a book, well actually hundreds of books, with the potential to become another hundred, with many of the modern-web capabilites we’ve grown accustomed to without distracting us from our intent: to enjoy a great story. Tablets are great too, and reading a book on them can be just as enjoyable as reading a book anywhere else, and because of that I think tablets will replace eReaders in a lot of people’s backpacks. But eReaders will survive, because they’ve got some cool features that can beat even the best tablet, and I know I’ll cherish mine for years to come.
Special thanks goes to Hunter S.